Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

July 6, 2012

One last hurrah

Douillard, Phillips to play together one last time in Native All-Star game at NSU.

Jake Phillips and Colten Douillard had every reason to think they’d never play football together again. After all, they were seniors when they walked off the Ray Siegfried II Stadium turf on a cold November night in Tulsa, licking their wounds from a 32-6 loss to Cascia Hall in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Turns out, the Keys duo was wrong.

The dynamic offensive pair will get to play together one last time when they team up and play for the Blue Eagles in the 11th annual Native All-Star Football Classic at Northeastern State on Saturday.

“It’s really good that we get to play together because we have so much chemistry built up,” said Douillard, a rushing and receiving threat who ran for 495 yards and caught 43 passes for 803 yards during his recently-concluded senior campaign.

“And I know exactly what he is going to do and how he is gonna throw it without a word even being spoken between us.”

Phillips, who passed for 2,415 yards and 23 touchdowns his senior year, agreed wholeheartedly with Douillard.

“We’ve been together this past three years; I can read his mind and he can read mine,” he said. “Plus, it gives me a lot of comfort knowing he’s back there. I can always trust him because he can always make a play. He’s kind of the safety net.”

The game, which features Native American football players from across the country, will kick off at Doc Wadley Stadium at 7 p.m.

Another area player participating in the game is Sequoyah’s Stuart Polk, a Northeastern Oklahoma A&M signee who caught 23 passes for 465 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. Polk, though, will suit up for the Redhawks in the game and go against Douillard and Phillips.

The players in the game were split into two teams chosen by the two head coaches: Jim Warne (Redhawks) and Cody “Iron Eyes” Wilson (Blue Eagles).

“I’m fortunate to be on (Phillips’) team this game,” Douillard said, “because we had a combine and the coaches drafted us after that.”

Douillard — of Chickasaw descent — said the game is an opportunity to make his tribe proud.

“It’s a great feeling to represent the Chickasaw Nation in the form of something I love to do,” he said. “While also representing my school and my family all at the same time. It’s awesome.”

After the All-Star clash, Douillard will turn his focus toward preparing for college football at Fort Lewis. He has to report to the southern Colorado school on Aug. 10 — a day before his 18th birthday. Whether he’ll play right away for the Skyhawks, that’s still to be determined.

“Coach (Cesar) Rivas-Sandoval and I haven’t spoken about (playing immediately),” Douillard said. “But I think it may be a good thing for me because I’m younger and smaller than most guys playing. So it could give me a year to develop and blossom more before I see the field and get to the offense like the back of my hand.”

As for Phillips, playing with Douillard will almost certainly be the last time he sports shoulder pads and a helmet.

“I’m going to UCO on a leadership scholarship,” Phillips said. “And I’m hoping to go to medical school at OU, eventually.”

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